Are You Ready to Face Countless Monsters Once Again?
After initially been scheduled for fall 2016 and then delayed, the sequel to the survival horror game Outlast is set for release in April. Outlast II is developed by Red Barrels, the same team behind the first title in the series, and the game is coming to PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Although it’s set in the same universe as the original, Outlast II will feature new characters and a different setting. You will play as Blake Langermann, a part of a husband/wife duo of journalists investigating a weird suicide of a pregnant woman in Arizona. The poor girl was found pregnant on the side of the road and admitted to a hospital, where she committed suicide…or did she?
The setting of the original Outlast is an insane asylum, but Red Barrels confirmed on their Twitter account that players are in for a change. According to a demo, at least one part of the game will be set in a Catholic school. Considering the fact that the official logo of the Outlast II features an inverted cross, we are in for a religious mystery.
Going Mad Will Be the Only Sane Thing to Do
“We aren’t doing anything different than what has already been done in movies. It seems that the video game industry isn’t keen on taking on controversial subjects in their games,” said Philipe Morin, Senior Game Designer and the co-founder of the Red Barrels Developer team.
The religion theme does require thorough preparation and there are not many games that handled the topic well. Fortunately, the fact that the developers delayed the release of the game and that it has been four years since the original mean that they didn’t take the game lightly…we hope. The game will consider the issue of blind faith. It will feature a mad preacher, religious symbols scattered all over the place and even the ghost of a younger version of your wife hanging herself and then getting kidnapped by a weird creature. The goal of Outlast II is to test your faith to the limit, all the way up to the place where you will think that going mad is the only sane thing to do.
One scene of the demo clearly shows the developers’ idea to shock us with content. While exploring the area, you will encounter a shallow grave with a pile of dead children who, to top it off, seem to be freshly burned. Not even the most experienced survival horror players can stay indifferent to this kind of imagery and there’s more to come in Outlast II.
The Return of Found-Footage
The short playable demo shows Blake and Lynn flying to the secluded village to investigate the case. They had to use the chopper because the region is inaccessible with land vehicles. Unfortunately, the chopper crashes and Blake finds himself in the middle of nowhere with Lynn nowhere in sight.
The rural setting looks abandoned but it is still truly beautiful (when I say beautiful, I mean horrifying). You can see animal carcasses with swarms of flies around them and you can feel that real corpses are not that far away. Soon, you will realize that the villagers are anything but hospitable, so you have to hurry to find Lynn and get out of there.
Just like in the first game, you can use night vision camcorder in the Outlast 2. That will help you get around in the dark and the found-footage certainly adds to the atmosphere (The Blair Witch Project, anyone?). Your camcorder features a noise meter, which keeps track of the sounds. You should pay close attention to them themselves, considering that they can warn you of an imminent danger. Naturally, the camcorder has a limited battery, so you will have to closely manage it. You can find other batteries on the map, but they are not exactly a common item.
Why Was the Game Banned in Australia?
The game offers so violent content that the Australian Classification Board refused to give it a rating and banned it in that country. However, the issue was resolved a couple of days ago and the game will be available for buying in Australia. The problem occurred over a scene of implicit sexual violence where you can see weird creatures having sex before one of them attacks Blake thrusting its crotch against him. According to the reports, it seems that this scene had been deleted from the final version of the game and that’s why the ban was revoked.
Either way, the graphics of Outlast II are simply amazing. Each detail got much attention and everything looks great in the shades and in the moonlight. The imagery is used to scare the player and it creates a spooky atmosphere. Spooky cornfields, abandoned classrooms, self-slamming lockers and weird monsters will constantly have you on the edge of your seat.
The element of hide and seek is the essence of the game, so you will have to avoid hostile villagers with pitchforks and creatures with mile-long tongues. You can run, crouch and hide in various places, like an empty barrel or a pool. As already mentioned, you will have to pay close attention to the sounds which can make the difference in staying alive or not. However, the amazing whispering and other sounds will often have you thinking like someone or something is right behind you.
When Can I Play It?
April 25, 2017, is set as the date when Outlast II will release digitally through Steam. Xbox One and PS4 owners will also have the option of buying Outlast Trinity. A physical collection of all games in the series, including the original Outlast and its DLC Whistleblower. The game is a standalone adventure, so it won’t feature a multiplayer mode.
There is a reason why we have high hopes for Outlast II. The studio that develops the game was founded by people who worked on epic titles like Assassin’s Creed, Prince of Persia and Splinter Cell. Besides that, they already got it right once and, if they do it again, we might have the most horrifying game of all time on our hands.